De-Fencing / Fence Furniture

Jair Straschnow

© Cascoland © Jair Straschnow © Jair Straschnow © Cascoland © Jair Straschnow
2007

Jair Straschnow nam deel aan Cascoland in Johannesburg en creëerde meubilair waarmee hij illegale en semi-legale micro-economische praktijken een plaats wilde geven en legaliseren. Hij verankerde in en om het hek rondom een park bij Drill Hall een nieuwe infrastructuur en ruimte voor 'informele mechaniek'. Op sommige plaatsen bewerkte hij het hek door het gedeeltelijk één meter te verschuiven en zo nieuwe ruimte te scheppen. Door de publieke ruimte te 'verschuiven' creëerde hij een tussenruimte waarbinnen creatie mogelijk werd.

Cascoland is an international collaborative project where artists and designers engage themselves in communities in order to activate and develop public space.
In 2007 Cascoland took place at the Drill Hall, inner city Johannesburg, SA.
Besides its historical importance (the treason trials took place there in the 50’ and 60’), the Drill Hall, and the Hillbrow / Jubert park area, have gone over the past decade a dramatic physical and social transformation. It has become the home to immigrants from all over Africa, thousands of people in search of a roof over their head and a job in the city. With exceptionally high densities of housing and revolving demography, inner-city lacks however basic public facilities of an urban environment of this size and intensity.
The sidewalks surrounding the Drill Hall are home for numerous small businesses providing services for the hundreds of mini-van taxis around: car washers, mechanics, electricians, car-stereo technicians, snacks and cigarettes vendors, and so on. This micro-economy is well organised, creating jobs for many and providing quick and efficient service, but is not approved by the city authorities.
The need for seating facilities is obvious, both for the workers and for the public waiting for the taxis, which is the only mean of transport to and from the townships.
The goal of the project was to try and activate this public space which stood fenced and isolated, and my intention was to use the fence, the physical barrier between the compound and the outside world, as an infrastructure for a dialogue.
The fence, which normally defines the border between inside and outside, legality and illegality, mine and yours, is used to diffuse those definitions.

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